Edinburgh's 101 Objects
Last weekend we were lucky to enjoy a touristy day out with Mr Enthusiast and explored some of Edinburgh's 101 Objects. If you are unfamiliar with the initiative, Edinburgh 101 Objects is a collection of Ediburgh's most treasured objects ranging from the world's first blended Scotch whisky to Dolly the cloned sheep. You can find the full list of objects and more information on each object at the
. Why not celebrate the year of History, Heritage and Archeology by exploring them all at your own leisure?
Here's an example itinerary we followed.
Object 19: The Skating Minister
The weather was not brilliant when we left home, so we decided to head straight to the National Galleries of Scotland on the Mound. Lots of other people had the same idea, so the museum was pretty busy! I have been wanting to check out
for ages and glad we finally made it. The Skating Minister is a painting by the famous Scottish artist Sir Henry Raeburn and shows Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch. It is quite unlike other known portraits by Raeburn!
While it was still raining outside we had a stroll around the gallery and admired their newest acquisition, The Monarch of the Glen. It is a beautiful painting of a red deer stag and well worth checking out if you have not yet seen it.
Object 33: David Hume's Lucky Toe
After the gallery we headed towards the Royal Mile and rubbed David Hume's lucky toe in the hope of improved weather for the rest of the day. It worked!
Would you have thought that the shiny bronze statue of the philosopher is actually not very old? It has only been there since 1995, created by sculptor Alexander Stoddart.
De-tour: Walker Slater
The other day I noticed that
has opened a new sales shop on Victoria Street, so we had a quick detour to find a new Harris Tweed hat for Mr Enthusiast. The sales shop has great offers for a fraction of the original price - head there to find some bargains. Also I had to admit that I have never been to their shops before as I thought it was too touristy stuff. How wrong I was! I have now becaise a Walkers Slater convert and we ended up buying a hat for myself too.
Object 14: Sir Patrick Geddes Bust
It was time to get back to our Edinburgh 101 Object itinerary, so we were back on the Royal Mile. We headed to a secret garden in Trunks Close, just behind the Scottish Storytelling Centre (John Knox House). The garden is normally only open on weekdays, but with the Architecture Fringe Open Close exhibition ongoing (until 11 August) we managed to sneak in. The bust of
sits on a beehive - don't worry it's not a real beehive but part of the statue. Scottish sculptor Kenny Hunter explained this with Geddes' appreciation of bees. Geddes himself is best known as the father of town planning and thanks to him we have some pretty wee urban gardens today in Edinburgh's Old Town.
Object 16: The Scotsman Steps
Next we took my favourite shortcut from North Bridge down to Market Street: the
. It's a beautiful artwork of Martin Creed and it was originally commissioned by the Fruitmarket Gallery for Creed's solo exhibition back in 2010. The piece is named 'Work No. 1059' and it has 104 steps of different marble from all over the world. I was also pleased to see that Edinburgh Council has removed the grafitti I spotted a couple of weeks ago at the top of the stairs.
Object 31: 'Still' by Alison Watt
The Scotsman Steps led us right next to the door of Old St Paul's Church, home of the beautiful artwork 'Still' by Alison Watt. The painting comes in four parts and I adore how Alison shows the monumental image of hanging folds of fabric so light and airy. It was originally commissioned by the Ingleby Gallery in 2004 - I cannot believe I have not heard about this beautiful piece earlier.
If you have fallen in love with Alison's work like we did, you can find another painting of hers ('
') at the Scottish Parliament.
Object 7: Starred Dome of 36 St Andrew Square
Our final stop was Dundas House at 36 St Andrew Square. You might have walked past this Royal Bank of Scotland branch numerous times and used the outside cash mashines. Next time make sure you enter the building - inside is certainly not your average RBS branch but possibly the prettiest banking hall in the whole UK. The wow factor of the building is certainly the starred dome and you can count as much as 120 stars. You will also find a section of the original tiles and a great wee exhibition telling you the history of the building.
Lunch at the Printing Press
We were kindly offered a three-course lunch at
which has long been on my 'to-visit' list. The restaurant is conveniently located at George Street and it was only a few minutes walk from our last Edinburgh 101 Object.
The restaurant opened last autumn and the beautiful listed Georgian townhouse went through complete restoration. The end result is a stylish and elegant space, perfect for brunch or afternoon tea with friends or a lovely lunch/dinner with your partner. The menu features some Scottish favourites - now I know where to send friends visiting from my home country to try haggis!
This is what we picked from the
To start with, we had haggis (obviously) and delicious gin cured Loch Duart salmon.
(no picture - Mr Enthusiast ate his starter too quickly!)
Our mains were wild garlic gnocchi and charred Peterhead mackerel.
For dessert Mr Enthusiast picked chocolate as always while I went for the boozy-fruity option - rhubarb and champagne syllabub.
All dishes were delicious and would be hard to pick my favourite - but if you ask Mr Enthusiast, he could have had at least 3 more portions of his Valrhona chocolate cremeux.
All photos by The Edinburgh Ethusiast (C).
Acknowledgement: Even though Mr Enthusiast and myself enjoyed the hospitality of The Printing Press Bar and Kitchen, the views and opinions expressed on this blog are honest and purely my own.